Canada’s online legal magazine.

Archive for ‘Technology’

Is Your Firm on Wikipedia?

Rupert White of the U.K. Law Society’s Gazette has a couple of articles on law firms’ use of Wikipedia: “Top 50 firms that get Wikipedia – and those that don’t” and “Why the world’s favourite encyclopedia matters.” His basic position is that a law firm should have a page on Wikipedia and should groom it regularly to make certain it’s accurate, full (definitely not “fulsome,” as he has it!) and up-to-date.

I’m less convinced that a Wikipedia page is a necessity. After all, if your firm comes up top in a Google search for key components . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Publishing, Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Marketing, Technology

Drive-by Praise

No one else is doing it (perhaps because they have not made it home yet), so I’m going to do a drive-by post to praise Slaw for winning the 2009 Hugh Lawford Award for Excellence in Legal Publishing. I’m going to try not to hurt my arm, but this is significant. From

This award was initiated as a means of acknowledging the work that is done by publishers to provide the Canadian legal profession with high quality materials for use in understanding and researching the law. It is hoped that this award serves both as a means to honour

. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Legal Information: Publishing, Technology: Internet

Twitter, E-Discovery and Decontextualization

There’s a piece by Debra Logan on the Gartner Blog Network, “Twitter and e-Discovery,” that goes over some fairly straightforward stuff about e-discovery and social media. What struck me as interesting was an observation at the end of the piece, pointing out that because of the briefness of a tweet, it is more likely decontextualized than are other discoverable utterances (doodles on pads at meetings?), at least when it’s looked at outside the flow it first appeared in. It’s context that gives or controls meaning, and the briefer the utterance the less each word is shaped by neighbouring . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Information Management, Practice of Law, Technology

Kennedy on Tech Trends for 2009

Take the opportunity to read Dennis Kennedy’s May piece in the ABA’s Law Practice Today, Legal Technology Trends for 2009, this year’s version of his annual predictions and advice. I’m stealing none of his thunder if I tell you that his eight trends are:

  1. Technology budgets get decimated
  2. Making do with what you have or doing more with less
  3. The mobile phone as platform
  4. Looking to the cloud
  5. Using tech to get the word out and the money in
  6. Focus on client-focused technology
  7. E-Discovery in still waters
  8. The perfect storm for collaboration

For one thing you’re going to want . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: CLE/PD, Legal Information: Information Management, Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Marketing, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Technology

Times Wire

News junkies rejoice! Yet another way to get up-to-the-minute reports on what’s happening: the New York Times now offers its content in the form of Times Wire, a kind of “river of news” web-based flow that gives you headlines, the first line or two of the story, and a block of photos with popup text for those who like things pictorial. You’re able to fashion your own flow, to some extent (no tick box for law — why is that?), choose the business & technology tab, or elect to drink from the fire hose of “all news.”

There’s an . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Publishing, Technology

The Canadian Anti-Spam Bill

The Electronic Commerce Protection Act, Bill C-27, has passed second reading in Parliament and will go to committee for review.

Views seem to differ on parts of the bill, while other parts are generally accepted.

One of the areas of contention deals with the degree of consent required to send someone an email. The Bill has an ‘opt in’ system, by which the sender needs the express or implied consent of the addressee to send a message. An existing business relationship may imply consent.

However, some people say that the Bill is so broadly drafted that it would prohibit . . . [more]

Posted in: Administration of Slaw, Legal Information, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Legislation, Technology, ulc_ecomm_list

University of the People

Israeli entrepreneur Shai Reshef has launched the University of the People. Under the auspices of the U.N.’s Global Alliance for Information and Communication Technology and Development (GAID), the University of the People offers tuition-free education to anyone able to connect via the internet in two programs, Business Administration and Computer Science. At the moment the institution does not grant degrees, although it is seeking accreditation.

The somewhat tenuous connection to law — and thus to Slaw — lies in the fact that a number of the University’s advisors are lawyers: Jack M. Balkin is Knight Professor of Constitutional Law . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: CLE/PD, Legal Information, Miscellaneous, Technology

Zotero Releases Version 2.0

George Mason University’s note-taking and bibliographic plugin for Firefox, Zotero, is now available in version 2.0 (beta 3) and boasts a number of new features. So far as I know, Zotero is still at legal odds with Thomson Reuters concerning Zotero’s ability to import data from the latter’s Endnote. But that doesn’t seem to be slowing them down much. We’ve talked about Zotero a lot on Slaw, but for those still not acquainted with this really impressive, free, open-source program, there’s a video on the Zotero website that will give you a quick overview of its features. And . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

This Week’s Biotech Highlights

There weren’t exactly an Ark’s worth of devleopments this week, but what did develop came two-by-two.

This week saw two very public regulatory developments in the U.S.:

  • The FDA took two heavy steps against highly visible advertising: they said that General Mills’ claims on Cheerios boxes that the cereal can help lower cholesterol means that Cheerios are a drug and should be tested and regulated accordingly; and they chastised a number of pharma companies for ads placed with Google because the ads (limited to 95 characters) do not contain the required risk information. 
  • Also in the U.S., Rep. Pallone
. . . [more]
Posted in: Substantive Law, Technology: Internet

Does Wolfram|Alpha Make Google Obsolete?

I have seen the future of search – and this demo of Wolfram|Alpha is so mindboggling in conception and ambition that when the site launches I want to experiment at length, when it launches on Monday. It’s essentially about fusing an analytical engine on top of search, drawing data from the web and then crunching it in a myriad of different ways. “Wolfram Alpha is like a cross between a research library, a graphing calculator, and a search engine.” “Wolfram Alpha can generate and compute vast amounts of data and present it using visual charts, spreadsheets and . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Technology, Technology: Internet

Who Pulled the Plug?

We don’t realize how much we rely on a service until it’s unavailable.

Did any Slaw readers get affected by the Google outage?

The headline in Information Week read:

Gmail, Google Search, Google Maps, Google Analytics, YouTube, AdSense, and Blogger experienced outages Thursday morning, according to discontented Twitter users.

Here is the statement:

“Earlier today, Google News was temporarily unavailable for many users, from approximately 3:30 AM until around 7:00 AM, Pacific Time. This issue has now been resolved. We know how important Google News hit is to our users, so we take issues like this very seriously.”

“The . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology, Technology: Internet